“White No More” / Part IV

According to the supposed non-racists Ta-Nehisi Coates and his many worshipers who wanted Dolezal unemployed, racism and whatever language it creates are creations by racist ‘white’ people through their white supremacy view of the world. The two-way street of racist language is not true of their supposedly non-racist language; they claim to see reality as it really is not as their words make it out to be as racists do. Coates is considered a genius for describing the situation as follows: “race is the child of racism, not the father.” By “race” and “racism”, he is not referring to the use of those words in several millennia of different applications that include tribal, religious, ethnic, national, and many other differences but only as used in his self-centered narrow view of the world consisting of “race” and “racism” based on skin color. According to this line of thought, we will never be able to eliminate the discrimination and oppression of physically perceived black bodies by physically perceived white bodies because of the ongoing legacy of slavery and of a white supremacy view of history, the present, and the future. Thus, their argument is that being ‘black’ is by definition a skin color but also an oppressed ‘race’ forced to accept racism and race as a fact of life. If “race” truly “is the child of racism, not the father”, cannot the father die and we would still have the son that is “race”? This seems to be the implication and is how his thought plays out in practice to create new school racism.

 
So, for supposed non-racists such as Coates just as for Dolezal and racists alike, being black connotes both a sense experience skin color and also a cultural and social identity that is called being ‘black’. Coates further complains that the “black bodies” created by racism are in need of protection from those who call themselves “white”; of whites casting of him and his “people” into a black “race” that knowingly glance at each other at airports and know they share a special bond; and of the reality, unity, and language of his black “people” and “tribe”. Unlike racists though, for supposed non-racist Coates and his worshipers this ‘race’ identity is defined not solely by skin color but by skin color combined with oppression, slavery, and discrimination by whites based on black skin color. This is why he need not get into issues of mixed heritage; his focus is completely self-centered into a simple white and black distinction: white is bad; black is good.

 
The logic is as follows: white people by their white supremacy oppression and discrimination of black bodies, especially through slavery, created and create anew every day “black bodies”, and a black “people”, “tribe”, or “race” that are now in need of protection from this oppression and discrimination by white people, therefore white people such as Dolezal should not be allowed to pretend they are ‘black’. If they do, the only proper connotation for them is a derogatory ‘wigger’ or ‘putting on black face’ because such pretension is just more oppression — taking the good created by the struggle of being ‘black’ and making it ‘white’.

 
Actually, this logic makes sense from a defeatist perspective. Since their premise is that omnipresent white supremacy physically, socially, and culturally makes “black” inferior and thus American culture and society will treat ‘black bodies’ unjustly as an inferior ‘race’ of black bodies, Coates and his worshipers conclude they must accept they are “black bodies” of a black “people”, “tribe”, or “race” and as a defense mechanism exclude anyone from being one of them who are not “black bodies” in a black “people”, “tribe”, or “race”. If they do not watch out for each other, no one will is a valid defense used by religions, ethnicities, tribes, nations, and so forth throughout history and often is the mechanism used to create or empower the identity of the ethnicity, society, culture, and so forth. Does it work the other way with their version of ‘race’? Since according to Coates and his worshipers we live in a world of white supremacy in which white people are by definition the oppressors of blacks, are black bodies unable to call themselves white?

 
For example, President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice has led a life of prestige, privilege, and power among the powers-that-be. She was born in Washington, D.C., of two black parents consisting of a Cornell University economics professor who was also the second black governor of the Federal Reserve System and an education policy scholar. She is a three-sport athlete, student council president, and valedictorian from National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., an upper class private girls’ day school, and is a graduate of Stanford University and New College, Oxford. She served on the staff of the National Security Council and served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton’s second term and as UN ambassador. She is married to a white guy ABC television producer. She has two kids. Based on culture and social relations, to any working class kid such as myself she appears to be modern upper class and a very powerful member of our modern ruling class intelligentsia who would screw me and give the orders to kill me and my entire family (doubt if she would do the killing herself since new school powers need not bloody their hands with the actual killing) if need be to keep her family, friends, and other members of her 1984 Orwellian Inner and Outer Party in power.

 
Since by definition she is one of white society’s oppressors of black people, can I call Susan Rice a white woman? Can I call her a white woman who happens to be black (as I usually do)? No, this would be racist because she is physically black and calling her white implies that being a ruling class oppressor is acting white which is racist though true according to Coates. What if she went to “Black No More” and changed to a white skin color? Is she still black? According to Coates and his worshipers’ logic, the answer is yes because she was born black and thus shares in the legacy of oppression, slavery, and discrimination that is being born ‘black’.

 
Thus, the logic of Coates and his worshipers works both ways: under no circumstances can a white be black nor a black be white. Our technology of “White No More” and “Black No More” thus would do nothing to solve this problem. Even if skin color stopped being a genetic marker fixed at birth and became just a fashion choice and thus we could eliminate the concept of skin color ‘race’ and associated racism entirely to replace it with an -ism against persons who choose black as the fashion choice of skin color, all of this would still be racist. Being ‘black’ is a race, people, or tribe created not by skin color but by racism; it is a legacy of racism and slavery that is a birthright to all who are black. Any attempt by whites to be ‘black’ hijacks that legacy and is an attempt to hide it and its responsibilities (such as reparations) and is racist.

 
In the fabric of language used by the supposed non-racists who wanted Dolezal to lose her job, by Coates, and by his worshipers, just as with the language fabric of racists, the initial fabric tread or stitching that associated being black with skin color at some point has become disassociated from skin color. For Coates and his worshipers, ‘black’ now means a legacy of oppression, slavery, and discrimination because of black skin color. It is a legacy handed down from black generation to black generation as a genetic birthright regardless of the circumstances of the birth, the actual skin color, or of the life circumstances of the child: thus we have new school racism. This change in language tread and stitching is a substantive and essential change in the use of the words ‘race’ and ‘racism’. If “race” truly “is the child of racism, not the father”, the father can die and we would still have the son — regardless of technology. Having race around allows for it to become a racist father itself of new school racism as contemplated in some of my prior blogs dealing with new school racism.

 
Why such a defeatist view of life? Racist whites put persons with black skin color into an unjust black race so they must accept and continue being in an unjust black race? Historically, when such a defense mechanism is accepted, it is done either by the powers to keep a group in their place or as a smokescreen for hidden intentions for power by the ambitious. Which is it for Coates and his worshipers? For this contemplation to progress in anyway, we must forget the polemics and deal with a further contemplation of the nature of language and its meaning: its usefulness. Coates is definitely a genius poet as poetry is defined by the philosopher Nietzsche: “the art of creating ripples in shallow water to give the impression they are deep.” Such genius serves only the selfish interests of the poet and to confuse and to obscure the actual meanings or usefulness of words.

Diversity Past and Future / Part I

The recent maiden speech by Australian Member of Parliament Linda Burney highlights the many inconsistencies and hypocrisies associated with the politically correct “diversity” movement omnipresent throughout Western Civilization at present. “Diversity” is marketed by the powers as meaning diversity of thought and ideas. In practice, “diversity” means the powers will accept you regardless of ethnicity, race, skin-color, sexual orientation, or whatever as long as you think and act like the rich and powerful people act or expect you to act. As discussed earlier, one reason we will always have classism is because once one makes it into a position of power, you think and act like the powers not like the powerless you left behind. The only real value of politically correct diversity is that it proves equality across all kinds of people by showing that people of any ethnicity, race, skin-color, sexual orientation, or whatever can all be equally lacking in creative and original substantive thought, equally lacking in historical knowledge and empathy, and equally motivated by a will for power as any other. How about real diversity of ideas and thought among the powers or even among working people living as one community, is that even possible?

 
MP Burney is lauded by the powers in the media and the internet as the first Australian indigenous or Aboriginal female to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives. So, in a world full of threats to whatever personal freedom there is, does she stand up in her maiden speech with words of gratitude to the long miserable history that got Western Civilization to a point in which there is at least some form of “houses of representatives” in all its nations; where small pox and other major killers of the past have been eliminated; where 80% of its people are literate and rising (instead of 80% illiterate as they were just a century ago); that has brought the world the scientific era; that is trying at least, perhaps unsuccessfully, but trying at least, to adopt the Christian Beatitudes into secular forms of government; and all sorts of other quantifiable improvements in life? No, she walks into Parliament with some other Aboriginals wearing kangaroo skin cloaks (where is PETA in these situations?) featuring their clan totems and personal totems stating “these lands are, always were, and always will be Aboriginal land” singing in their native language passed down through oral tradition — because Australian Aborigines never created a written language despite having 10,000 years to come up with one. This is the usual propaganda that duplicates the propaganda spit out by some present Americans who call themselves “Native American” though to a refugee emigrant such as myself they are no different from any other American born in the United States I have met.

 
According to all up-to-date historians and anthropologists that have studied Aboriginal way of life including eyewitness accounts from the 1830’s of orphan children and escaped convicts living for 20-30 years with the Aboriginals, they were a hunter-gather culture that had all of the mayhem, violence, and war of modern culture without any of the amenities or virtues of modern culture. Prior to Westerners arriving, Australia had about 300,000 hunter-gatherer Aboriginals living there separated into approximately 400-700 regional groups averaging about 500-600 in each group. There is no way to tell which of these groups were the “original” inhabitants of Australia, if any were, because there were multiple waves of immigration with each wave conquering or assimilating with whatever people were there before them. All of this is substantively and essentially true of so-called Native Americans.

 
As with Native Americans, there were constant cycles of plenty and famine. There was constant warfare among the groups for food, land, power, and for women. They had chattel slavery. In “Aboriginal land”, at puberty women became property, valuable property, but still property. They practiced infanticide especially of female babies in an attempt to control the cycles of feast and famine (The Aztecs in the Americas did not stop at infanticide, human sacrifice of all ages was their contribution to Native American culture.) Despite this, by the male age of maturity of 18 – 21 years, as was true of all societies until very recently and still true in most by age 25, the percentage of women in the groups outnumbered the men because so many men died hunting, working, in war, in accidents, and by homicides. Despite this slight surplus of women at maturity, there was still a shortage of wives because the more powerful males practiced polygamy with as many as ten wives. So, there were still raids by men on other groups to get wives that of course created a shortage there thereby resulting in other raids on other tribes. In some family groups, the homicide death rates including war casualties for mature Aboriginal (and also Native American) males, though small in number because the groups were small, was 20% of their population. This percentage of homicide/war deaths was the total for internal wars within family groups and external wars with other family groups before Westerners arrived. Even in our bloodiest war, the Civil War, we only hit 2% of the male population. In World War II, the only nation to come close to a 20% casualty rate was Poland, even Germany and Russia hovered around 10%. In World War I, the only nation to go above 10% was Serbia which hit the jackpot at 27%.

 
Is this the “Aboriginal land” that is the basis of MP Burney’s cultural pride? These are the people she wants now to own the land so she can go back to being valuable property over which men kill and start wars? These good-ole-days of Aboriginal culture were forcibly stopped by British and Australian imperialism. Is she talking about the world of this enforced peace between the family groups so they could all unite as “Aboriginals” and start complaining? Was this really a bad thing? Sure, it could have been handled better and more humanely than it was, but in order to have a humane assimilation between cultures, both sides must admit the need for assimilation. This hardly ever occurs in history. The powers-that-be of the Aboriginals with their ten wives saw no need to assimilate and did not care whom they sacrificed to maintain their power just as the Australian powers-that-be as always did not care about hoi polloi fighting among themselves despite pretending otherwise, and thus we have the misery that is history.

 
There was no genocide of Aboriginals just as there was no planned genocide of any Indians in the United States nor of any New World natives. Diseases such as small pox, measles, and flu brought by Westerners killed 90-95% of those dying when the cultures collided just as these diseases killed hundreds of millions more Westerners but disease was not intentionally brought to the New World — Mother Nature killed them not Westerners nor Western Culture. Since there was no agreed upon method of assimilation, it occurred the miserable old school way according to the demigod of evolution: those who could adapt did, those who could not adapt lived their lives and died out.

 
The point is to respect the dead by learning from their misery in order to build a better future, not by building false pride upon a miserable past. A delusional view of history does not respect the dead’s sacrifice. It is mocking it.

 
My Slavic ancestors are the reason we have the word “slave”. They suffered a millennium of slavery, first by the Western and Eastern Roman Empires and all the tribal migrations within them and then by the Islamic Empires. The World Wars and their aftermath did not improve their lives much until very recently and the Balkanization of Slavic culture by centuries old grudges is why we have the word “Balkanize” and the present mess in the Balkans. This is one reason why I object so strongly to Coates’ desires and plans to Balkanize racism in this country by using it as a means to create an original sin of white guilt and an excuse for failure in Black-American culture allowing both to be handed down through generations so as to “Balkanize” Americans for generations to come if it is not stopped now before it gets entrenched.

 
It would be as silly for me to talk about my part Slavic past with pride and as a basis to claim land (as some fools do) as it is for MP Burney to talk about her Aboriginal past with pride and to make a claim to still own the land for “Aboriginals” — a word created by Westerners in the same way that words such as Slavic and Asian are really just Western generalizations of a more convoluted cultural and social identity. The actual “Aboriginals” identified themselves by their family group or tribe in the same way that Slavic people actually see themselves as Croats, Slovens, Serbs, Slovaks, and many more, and “Asian” is a set made up of thousands of different cultural and social identities. We should look to the past with empathy, pity, and as a source of knowledge and lessons for the future. From the government perspective, the perspective a PM and anyone in our United States government should use, land should belong to the future not to any past.

 
Is diversity of thought and ideas really possible? We are quantitatively better, but is humanity qualitatively any better in the modern world? We do not have infanticide but do have abortion to the tune of a million a year just in the United States with the vast majority of those being abortions of poor unmarried women’s babies — is the latter in essence any better if not real genocide? At least the Aboriginals did their own killing of their own babies within their own family. We do not start wars over women but do so over pretty much everything else, and now we have machines do our killing for us. Is that in essence any better? It is important to decide if the emphasis on diversity is really just another struggle started by the powers so that they can watch from on-high hoi polloi waste energy fighting among themselves. For the first time in history, we have the science and technology to create separate-but-equal subcultures within our larger American culture. If it is the essence of humanity for individuals not to get along with individuals different from themselves, it is time to admit it and create a better future using this truth instead of continuing the misery of the past onto posterity by ignoring such truth for a nonsense dream of “diversity” achieving nothing but separation and fighting.

Classism vs. Racism: Which is Worse? Part II

Concepts of both classism and racism have existed throughout known history. Both terms describe a discriminatory relationship between humans in which someone or some group of humans divides humanity into groups based on physical characteristics or upon qualities assumed essential or innate to the group and then concludes one of these groups to be politically, culturally, mentally, or physically superior to the other or others. As we go further back in history, the two terms become synonymous with each other and with ethnicity. For example, both in Plato’s Republic and in the writings of Aristotle, there is the philosophical, political, ethical, and moral conclusion: “The notably born are citizens in a truer sense of the word than the low born … Those who come from better ancestors are likely to be better men, for nobility is excellence of race” (Aristotle); “The race of the guardians must be kept pure” (Plato). The Open Society and Its Enemies, ch. 10, 11, Karl Popper. When referring to “notably born”, the reference was to the materially and economically and thus politically powerful; slaves and wage earners were excluded as were barbarians from other lands, the latter we now call ethnic discrimination. Until recent history, such ethnic discrimination was also synonymous with racism. Even now, the United Nations makes no distinction between ethnic and racial discrimination. However, this “excellence of race” was not based on human skin color. Until recent history, most racism in Western Civilization was between political, social, or cultural groups of the same skin color. A powerful example still exists in the modern ideology called Nazism that differentiates between Aryan races and non-Aryan races.

 
The limitation of the word “racism” to a discriminatory relationship between human groups of different skin color is a relatively modern concept made for the benefit of polemics on both sides. To the white supremacist, it has the obvious advantage of lumping all “black bodies” — as Mr. Coates refers to his “tribe” or group — into one human group and thus ignoring the complex and convoluted ethnic differences between “black bodies”. For racists such as Mr. Coates who supposedly are against racism, it has the advantage of grouping all “white bodies” into one human group sharing original sin for slavery and thus ignoring the complex and convoluted ethnic differences between “white bodies” and the complex and convoluted history of slavery.

 
The word “classism” is a modern creation also, created in an attempt to differentiate discrimination among human groups based on social class from racism. Classism became truly separated from race and ethnicity with the industrial revolution and the historical philosophical materialism of Marxism: “The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggle”. Classical Marxism does not deny humanity’s spiritual side, in fact it argues that only in the spiritual side does freedom exist, but argues that the human spirit lives in a material world and its fate in this world is decided by the necessities of this material world. When the rules of that material world are capitalism, fate necessarily demands the existence of a ruling class controlling production and the resulting economic wealth and of lower classes that eventually become nothing more than working class wage slaves to a cycle of production and consumption necessary to maintain the ruling class wealth and power. For this view of the material world, class struggle is a struggle between classes defined by economic or material wealth.

 
With the benefit of history, we know that Marxism was wrong to limit its conclusion solely to capitalism. As I quote in Between the World and Us:

 

It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has  been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters. George Orwell, 1984.

 

With the development of Marxism and similar modern philosophies and social theories, classism became a separate concept. As pointed out in an earlier blog, the social activists, labor union leaders, and politicians of the industrial revolution renewed the concept of “wage slavery” from the ancients such as Aristotle and Cicero and compared it to chattel slavery. However, unlike the ancients, these moderns argued that wage slavery was just as evil or worse than chattel slavery.

 
Classism remains an ambiguous term because unlike race and ethnicity regardless of how they are defined, humans can, do, and want to change class especially when it is defined purely in an economic sense as it is usually defined. When one moves from a lower class to an upper class, one is no longer lower class. The purpose of affirmative action and civil rights laws for racial and ethnic discrimination is not to change a person’s race or ethnicity. However, if fate allows one to go from an economic lower class to an economic upper class, one is no longer lower class and thus one no longer has any incentive to either eliminate class or help out the lower classes in any meaningful way.

 
Class involves power, power by one group of humans over another group of humans. We live in a material world so a necessary foundation for this power will be material or economic power. However, it is not purely economic nor should it imply hereditary power. As George Orwell pointed out, hereditary aristocracies are weaker and eventually destroy themselves because ruling classes based on hereditary are slow in replacing weak members with those capable of maintaining class power. As developed in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com on its discussion of ethics and theology, the ruling class of any society or social group can be defined as the group capable of forcing the entire society or social group to go from an “is” statement to an “ought” statement. So, for example, the handful of judges who decided that the entirety of American society must re-define marriage to include gay couples are ruling class regardless of their personal economic wealth and of one’s moral view of that decision. Though many of those judges are wealthy or are trust fund children and their power comes from being bagmen or sycophants to those with economic or material power, having individual wealth is not a prerequisite for being ruling class; the prerequisite is having the power to make other groups or the whole society change its “ought”, its ethics. The workers of the working or lower classes, either individually or in combination, have no power to make any “ought” changes to whatever society or culture enslaves them to their wages. For them, it is always “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Thus for classism to have real pragmatic meaning, social classes and thus “classism” cannot be defined solely in economic terms but in terms of this “ought” power.

 
We now begin to see how classism is different from other forms of power and oppression by one social group over another such as racism — especially in racism’s modern version dealing only with skin color. Race may eventually disappear in the same way as will disappear many other forms of human differentiation such as those based upon who wears or does not wear bow ties (when people stop wearing bow ties), ride motorcycles (when there no longer are motorcycles), are republican (when this party is gone), or one of the other almost infinite number of ways that humans use to differentiate and then discriminate against each other. (When it does, according to the book Black No More by George Schuyler, humans will find a way to recreate race but his prediction is beyond this blog.) There was a time when all humans differentiated each other by tribes. This differentiation of humans by tribe has disappeared from Western Civilization, except in satirical form or when used ignorantly such as by Mr. Coates, and the same disappearance may some day be true for differentiation by “race.” Classism can never and will never disappear.

 
Unless humans become completely amoral or engage in mass suicide, the need to look at the “is” of reality and to create an “ought” was, is, and will be a necessary part of human nature. When solitary, an individual can only try to force whatever “ought” they desire upon nature. As soon as more than one individual is involved in anything, “oughts” collide. No two individuals and most definitely no group or societies of individuals have ever, do, or will ever be able to agree for any significant amount of time on what they “ought” to be doing. Someone will eventually win these disagreements. If they are in a group, they will win over the other groups. In this material world, this power over others will necessarily have a material basis. This combination of power creates a ruling class. Power for the sake of power is not bothered by any of the restrictions that hinder those who seek power for other reasons. Thus, within the ruling class, those who seek power for the sake of power will be the ultimate ruling class as verified by all known history and will become, are, or have already become in reality the fictional Inner Party of Orwell’s 1984.

 
What if anything can be done about classism will be contemplated next.

Classism vs. Racism: Which is Worse? Part I

Originally, the Greek “ism” began life in the English language as a suffix means of forming action nouns from verbs or nouns and did not imply anything evil (i.e., baptize, baptism; real, realism; existence, existentialism; Darwin, Darwinism). Unfortunately, since “communism” and especially now with “terrorism”, using an “ism” to describe an individual’s acts or ideas has become an easy and instinctive way to ridicule the acts or ideas. Intellectualism, sexism, racism, heterosexualism, barbarism, despotism, plagiarism are modern obvious omnipresent examples as is classism though the latter is little acknowledged or used in the United States that falsely claims and wants to be classless. This easy and in the modern world instinctive method of argument uses the same supposed evils of which it accuses the proponent of the bad “ism”: generalization and stereotype. Is there a difference between generalization and stereotype? If there is, at what point if any does a generalization become a stereotype or the other way around? Is either one or both inherently logically unsound or evil? What about specifically racism and classism? Is either racism or classism inherently logically unsound or evil, a subset of the other, an arbitrary creation of the will, or a necessary part of the reality of social and cultural interaction among humans? Is either worse than the other? These are questions I will consider in the next series of blogs. For now, I am not restricting “racism” to its very recent polemic definition in modern history of solely white/black racism, the term racism historically covers much more than this fairly recent version.

 
Throughout known history, any human coming in contact with another human has differentiated him or herself from the other. There is no way around self-consciousness; I am, therefore I think. Even a solitary hunter/gatherer meeting another solitary hunter/gatherer in the middle of nowhere will have to make a decision as to what to do about this other. If the decision is made irrationally or reflexively, by that I mean without going through a conscious process of induction or deduction, it will be made upon instincts created by life experience — instincts resulting from prior successful or unsuccessful inductions or deductions. If the decision is a conscious one, it will be made by a process of induction or deduction based on prior successful or unsuccessful inductions or deductions. Either way, in the absence of a pure altruistic instinct (assuming such exists) or a purely malevolent instinct (assuming such exists) fully controlling the individuals, the process will unavoidably involve such generalization or stereotype about the other individual.

 
In human consciousness, there is no way around the use of generalization and it is not evil nor logically unsound. All statements of fact or truth require some generalization. Generalization is the foundation of science. All inductive reasoning infers from a finite set of observations and experiences to a generalization claiming to hold true for a larger set of observations and experiences, even for those in the larger set that have not been seen or experienced. These generalizations, if not proven false, are then the premises for deductive reasoning, including for scientific deductive reasoning. Generalizations offer a theory about how things are in general. Thus the statement “all ravens are black” is a useful generalization, though no one person has ever been able to validate it by inspecting every raven on earth or every raven that has ever existed, and no one knows what ravens will be like in the future. Without such inductive reasoning, we would not be able to survive the day, survive life, nor would we have the modern world of science and technology. For purposes of the present contemplation, I will not challenge the soundness of inductive reasoning (If you have a firm belief in the rationality of inductive reasoning as somehow being better than instinct or faith — an issue beyond this blog but considered in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com, I suggest that you contemplate the raven paradox, also known as Hempel’s Paradox.)

 
The meaning of a word is its use. In common use, a “generalization” refers to a rational effort to categorize or describe facts, while a “stereotype” refers to an irrational effort to categorize or describe facts. Ideally, then, neither is a subset of the other but are distinct means of consciously categorizing or describing reality (unless you want to define the set as a collection of such means). Practically, however, how does one differentiate between a “rational” and an “irrational” effort? This is not as easy as it seems it should be. Both generalization and stereotypes involve inductive reasoning to reach a conclusion and then deduction to test or to live based on that conclusion. Often they are impossible to differentiate except based on a polemic reason: we want a statement to be one or the other.

 
When the differentiation is possible, it involves examination of the speaker’s intent in combination with an examination of the quantitative basis for the induced inferences. The deductions made from those inferences do not matter because in the real world, simply as a result of pure luck, true deductions may result from completely false inferences and bad intent. A stereotype should not become rational and thus a generalization as a result of pure luck.

 
Intent is one part of the criteria for differentiation and often is dispositive of the question. The function of the generalization “all ravens are black” is to understand and to allow people to understand and to work better with ravens not to harm or to oppress ravens. If the intent was purely to harm or oppress ravens for one’s benefit, we would have some doubt about it being a purely rational process and may call it a stereotype until we get an almost certain basis for the induction. (We can never get certainty because it is induction.) Is observation of one raven enough or do we need 100,000 observations when you are trying to harm all ravens based on the generalization that all ravens are black? For general statements made by a person with an obvious intent to categorize an entire class of people for oppression such as “all women are delusional” and “all black men are criminals”, the evil intent is so clear that unless they are supported by an observation of every individual woman and every individual black man — which is impossible — they would be called irrational and thus stereotypes regardless of the factual basis.

 
However, intent is not the sole basis for differentiation. What if the latter statements were made by an isolated person observing women in a large psychiatric ward and while observing black men in a prison? In these latter examples, there may be no evil intent but the statements would still be called stereotypes because the latter statements involve a set of observed facts that are too small for making inferences about the large quantity of members in the larger class or, based on simple experience, would clearly result in false inferences, thus they are stereotypes regardless of intent. The quantity covered by the generalization must be compared to the quantity of the observations upon which it is based. If the comparison leads to a ratio that experience indicates is too high, it is usually called a stereotype.

 
Sometimes, these two elements are ignored or hidden. Even simple scientific generalizations are not free of some subjective perhaps evil intention by the speaker that is often ignored for practical purposes. In science’s case, the intent many would say is to manipulate nature to human ends. In the absence of this intent for power, I doubt much if any scientific knowledge would have ever occurred, but again, this issue is beyond this blog. Regardless of this hidden malevolent intent that may be present in all scientific generalizations, they are still called generalizations and not stereotypes if the inferences are based on an acceptable quantity of facts and lead to deductions that can be tested and proven false in such test. (Again, since we are dealing with induction, no generalization can ever be proven true because it is impossible to test all of reality.) Similarly, if there is acceptable or politically correct intent, inferences based on insufficient or unsound observations are readily called generalizations. This happens all the time in economics and politics whose practitioners almost as a matter of routine assume A causes B simply because A correlates with B. (For an interesting analysis of such assumption, please see David Hume’s critique of cause and effect in his A Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.)

 
In areas of non-economic human interaction, the differentiation is much more difficult and usually impossible to make. A person listens to a fishing story from a black man or woman and assumes that they are lying about the size of the catch because they are black or a woman. Such would be irrational and thus stereotype because even basic life experience leads to the conclusion that everyone lies when they want to lie regardless of sex or skin color — thus this stereotype can also be described as evil sexism and racism. However, what if the person does not believe the story simply because based on 25 years of life experience with fishing and dozens of fishing stories they have honestly made the generalization that “all fishermen exaggerate the size of their catch”? We cannot simply say that such is stereotype because it is based solely on one person’s experience but has never been scientifically tested. The vast majority of our generalizations by which we survive the day and life have never been and will never be tested scientifically and are based solely on our experience. In this latter situation, the statement about fishing cannot be formally or practically stated to be either a generalization or a stereotype and may be either, and no conclusion can be made as to whether it is inherently good or evil; any such moral conclusion would depend on the circumstances of its use. Some people make this conclusion about fishing, use it to survive in life, and it is simply an unfortunate reality of human nature that it needs generalization and stereotype to survive in life.

 
Logically therefore, there is a difference between generalization and stereotype. However, in practice, it is often difficult and sometimes impossible to make this differentiation. In the difficult cases, if there is any hope of making the differentiation, it would require a logical but open mind, life experience with the facts at issue, and empathy to make the differentiation — traits entirely lacking in the author of “Between the World and Me” and in most popular pundits on racism or classism, either for or against. Without this combination of traits, outside of science and technology where generalizations actually can be empirically tested, a generalization becomes a stereotype or the other way around when the individual making an argument wants to make the change. A generalization though logically sound can be either good or evil. A stereotype is logically unsound and not good but not necessarily evil. What about specifically racism and classism? What are they? Good or evil? Are either a necessary part of social and cultural interaction, arbitrary creations of the human will, or both depending on the situation?

 
On an individual level, classism and racism when acting as stereotypes are equally evil. They each will result in a situation of one person acting upon or toward another irrationally for purposes of oppression. When acting as generalizations, that is resulting from a rational basis, each is equally good. However, when individual generalizations or stereotypes some time join and some time conflict in a social fabric of almost infinite interactions serving as a basis for social and cultural power distribution and normative principles, classism not only is the greater evil but unfortunately it is a necessary evil. As the Good Book says, the battle is not always to the strong nor the race to the swift but that is the way to bet. Through the science of genetics and cosmetic surgery, we may eventually live in a world without racism because eventually there may be no races. We will never live in a world without classism. As even Christianity admits, “[y]ou will always have the poor among you …” Matthew, 26: 11; Mark 14: 7. Why this is true will be discussed in the next set of blogs.

Reparations: How this Idea of Secular Original Sin Defines the Powers

As Victor Hugo said, “nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Further, when its time has come, it does not matter who says it or how. “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an example of an idea that has taken over the powers of American academia and its politically correct intelligentsia if not yet the economic powers despite its fifth grade level logic and historical knowledge. Do not be certain that it never will come to dominate those economic powers and become reality — look at gay marriage and its rapid becoming of a cultural fad among those powers. There are many criticisms of his Reparations article out there that I need not repeat here. It is illogical, grossly inaccurate both historically and in terms of present reality, and badly written. Despite such, instead of being thrown in the trash never to see the light of day, thanks to white guilt that is apparently dominant among our academia and intelligentsia, it shows up as a cover article on what claims to be intelligent journalism — the Atlantic — with its author Mr. Coates receiving a “genius” award for it from a bunch of rich white folks.

 

I want to elucidate here what this reparations article, this idea, and its reception shows of how the powers-that-be think about life. This new concept of reparations is radically different from any previous idea or award of reparations such as those granted to World War II Japanese-American internees. Those reparations were paid to live people who were actually interned (for the usual political reasons, the Italian and German Americans interned were not included in the reparations). This new concept of reparations for slavery is essentially a secular form of original sin that is passed down through generations. The powers lead such sheltered lives of power and control in the present, oblivious to the evil around them and in their own souls, that the powers need to go out and look for evil in the past. Having found it (no surprise there), they have nothing better to do but to arbitrarily and randomly make ethical and moral judgments on the dead; then, they use these judgments as a basis to force upon present humanity their ethical judgments on how others ought to be and act — pretty much the same mentality that created the evil they discovered in the past.

 

There is no need to look into the past for evil. Right now, in the present, one child dies every four seconds from poverty, hunger, or easily preventable diseases and illnesses. You can close your eyes, reach out there and stick your finger on any newspaper, internet news page, television news channel, or whatever you use for news and find an evil that needs to be worked on. All the evils of  which Mr. Coates complains as having been forced upon “black bodies” of the past are still present and are being forced upon a portion of humanity, black and white, now in the present. Though chattel slavery is no longer officially legal, it still exists unofficially in parts of Africa, the Mideast, and in Southeast Asia. Wage slavery is everywhere. Predatory lending? Millions of white and black “bodies” lost their life savings in the predatory lending crashes of the last couple of decades and more will do so in the next one. These are just the tip of the ice berg. There are plenty of problems out there requiring the application of scientific and technological technique for resolution and the associated political, social, and ethical normative structure to allow that technique to work.

 

By “work” I mean the ability to make learned scientific predictions and test them to see if they work. This “work” presents difficult ethical and moral questions in the present, in the now! There is a present need to attack and deal with these questions to provide a normative framework for science and technical work. For every supposedly frivolous claim of injustice out there of which the powers complain there are a thousand injustices that have no remedies either legal or illegal. Ethical and moral decisions are acts of cultural or individual will stating how the world “ought” to be, they are not acts of reason describing how it is. As the philosopher David Hume established centuries ago, there is no rational or logical way to go from an “is” statement to an “ought” statement. Modern philosophy has been trying to find a way around this problem for centuries but has failed. Slavery, for example, is unethical and immoral now because we want it to be so now. Will it be so in the future? Hopefully but not necessarily. If at some point in the future, humanity either through social structure or individual acts decides as it did for millennia that it “ought” to have slavery, we will. It is a constant battle in the present to make sure that such is not our future.

 

When studying or viewing history, for anyone with any familiarity with history, it is for all practical purposes not only impossible but illogical and irrational to put blame or to put labels of good, evil, moral, immoral, ethical, or unethical on any particular person, race, sex, or any group of humanity. It exhibits supreme and ultimate arrogance — and I would say an evil nature — for a present, living individual to look back into the infinite amount of variables that affected the billions of lives that have lived in the past to conclude any one or group of them was immoral or unethical. They are all dead. One cannot say they “ought” to be doing anything. All they every did is done. I get into greater detail and analysis in my book “Between the World and Us” on this question. As philosophers of science, knowledge, and language have shown, it is not even possible for scientists to made such conclusions. Statements such as “F=ma” are true because they are the simplest versions of an explanation for certain events that can be tested and by failing the test can be proven false now, in the present. If they cannot be tested nor proven false by such tests, they are meaningless. It is not even possible to state that scientific statements will be true in the future as exemplified by relativity physics invalidating of this “F=ma” that is the soul of classical physics. Furthermore, it would make no sense to say that in the past a physicist such as Aristotle “ought” to have known this truth nor even that any given scientific statement was true in Aristotle’s time, since it may not be true in the future there is no reason to make it true in the past.

 

Yet, this is exactly what the powers including Mr. Coates do: they somehow believe that they have the universe’s authority to put ethical and moral blame on dead people who most likely acted in the same way that the powers including Mr. Coates would have acted if they were in the past situations and cultures that they condemn as immoral or unethical. They do not stop there. Having made their god-like “ought” judgments of dead people, they go on to use those arbitrary and random judgments to make “ought” judgments of what everyone else in the present should be doing. Thus repeating the same mentality that led to the evils of the past. The powers do not look into the past and see what at this point was billions of lives that have struggled and fought with life’s hardships to give us the modern world of today that is at least quantitatively better than their world but only see a class of people whom they can blame for failing to create the world they want.

 

Looking into the past, we can look at the use of words and make judgments as to the pragmatic effects of words as good or evil relative to what we want now. We want a world without slavery. As I discuss in detail in my book, because we achieved such a world through the “slave morality” of Christianity, we can say relative to this goal that Christianity is a good and we should help it spread and prosper — until it stops helping us achieve this goal. We can say, relative to our desire to avoid chattel slavery, that because slavery caused slavery in the past, it is an evil now that must constantly be stopped and punished. Making the jump from arguing present moral and ethical “ought” judgments to make “ought” judgments of dead people then to make “ought” judgments of what present “live” people “ought” to do exhibits the supreme god-like arrogance of the powers-that-be.

 

In fact, that is the definition of the powers-that-be: those that have the power to made the world in their own image, that have the time and resources to sit around and decide what others both alive and dead people “ought” to do or to have done and then to enforce their view of “ought” upon the rest of society. The working person usually only has two choices in life: work or go to jail. If they achieve the first with any stability, then their main goal is simply to be left alone to try to achieve some happiness or joy in life with whatever the powers let them have. The vast majority of slaves up until very recent history in the Western World were white slaves owed by white masters. Initially, racism probably resulted from upper class whites seeing their white wage slaves and black chattel slaves getting along with each other in their misery and thus seeing a need to create discord among them to avoid a threat to their power.

 

Reparations based on a concept of secular original sin creating white guilt is a new type of racism created by modern powers with the aid of such writers as Mr. Coates as a way to maintain the discord among the working class and to continue it into the future. In the present, where there is much potential for technology to solve so many problems in life and a great need for a normative structure to focus that potential, the fact that any powers are taking this reparations argument seriously shows how removed they are from reality. The idea that they can pass god-like ethical and moral judgment on the dead is bad enough, but this new concept that they can create original sin for generations of humans shows they are trying to go from being god-like to actual demigods in the same manner as the emperor-gods of the ancients. Just as the richest 1% of the world are getting richer and further removed from everyone else, with such new concepts of ruling class reality, it is only a matter of time before they completely separate from the rest of us to become Orwell’s Inner Party.

Chattel Slavery v. Wage Slavery in a Technological Society

Wages is a cunning device of the devil, for the benefit of tender consciences who would retain all the advantage of the slave system without the expense, trouble, and odium of being slaveholders. Orestes Brownson, Chattel Slavery vs. Wage Slavery, Boston Quarterly Review 3 (1840).

 
Ignorance of history is one of the defining characteristics of our modern technological society. In a way, this ignorance is a good thing because when modern pundits do bother to argue from history, they do so only pragmatically, using the technique of the Ministry of Truth from 1984: to take something out of context or simply to fabricate a historical fact in order to argue a pre-determined opinion. One bad side effect of this ignorance, however, is that most of modern American society believes that our ancestors especially ancient ones were immoral, unethical idiots. If fact, on any given subject of pure rational thought such as morality and ethics, ancient societies were often much more sophisticated, disciplined, and logical in their thoughts than modern ethics and morality that is simply a regurgitation of economic necessity. An example of this is slavery. Ancient societies were well aware of the nature of slavery and contemplated and argued whether it was ethical to have it. The minority of philosophers concluded slavery to be unethical and should be eliminated. The majority, including such supposed greats as Aristotle and Cicero, concluded that it was ethical.

 

What is still interesting about their contemplation is that they saw and made distinctions that we still do not make today and most likely will never make unless there is a radical change in the nature of our modern technological society. For one, they made a distinction between chattel slavery and wage slavery. Just as ancient Greek philosophers invented the first steam engine during their search for knowledge (the aeolipile also known as a Hero’s engine) but apparently choose or the times were not right to use it to start an industrial revolution, they also seem to have developed a basic concept of capitalism but it went no further. One reason it went no further is that either out of selfishness or from a perverted version of pre-Christian altruism, they saw wage slavery as the greater evil.

 

According to the ancients, and continuing forward even to some 19th Century supposed moralists, chattel slavery was more ethical than wage slavery because it created a social bond of dependence between slave and master that contributed to maintaining an orderly and strong society. The slave was valuable to the master, valuable as property but valuable no less. There was an economic dependence between the two that created a social bond contributing to social cohesion. Such is not true of the person working solely for wages paid by the master. At any point, the master can decide to stop paying the wages and the workers would be out in the cold with no means to support themselves or their families. Whatever economic bond existed, it was a temporary one. The only social bond created between the wage earner and the master or even between wage earners was one of competition that contributed only to social disorder.

 

Unfortunately, from a purely cold-blooded economic perspective, this analysis was true. In every economic comparison analysis even from non-American scholars that I have ever seen, the material (clothing, shoes, housing, etc.), physical health, life stability, family stability (either nuclear or extended families), and even education opportunities of chattel slaves when compared to that of urban or rural wage workers was usually better but rarely worse for the chattel slaves than the wage workers. The abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglas after several years of experience as a “free man” concluded: “experience demonstrates that there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery.”

 

Obviously, what this pure economic analysis misses is chattel slavery’s effect upon the human soul. At least in their misery, the “free” could create independently of any family relationships social bonds among themselves — almost always illegal because the law always acts to protect masters and not either their wage or chattel slaves — that through threat of unified social rebellion would serve to improve their lot in life. Through the ages these social bonds varied from the Roman plebeians’ successful demands for the appointment of “tribunes” (“tribuni plebis”) to control the power of the patrician consuls to medieval and our modern labor unions. Except for possibly the Haitian Revolution whose success can be disputed given its present lot, I know of no similar success by slaves to organize and improve their lot in life either outside of the law or within it. From the slave revolution of Spartacus to our own Civil War, in the absence of assistance from the powers that be, successful social bonding outside of their family was not able to occur.

 

Is such distinction or benefit to being a wage slave still true in modern technological society?  No. Thanks to technological progress, one can have material wealth as a wage slave in the modern world that was unimaginable to either the chattel or wage slaves of the past but one is less free now to engage in any social bonding to improve the soul of society — or even for personal spiritual worth. The concept of either an extended or nuclear family is rapidly disappearing. At present, the majority of Americans have never been married and 40% of children are born to unwed mothers. It is only a matter of time before the concept of family is reserved as a hobby for the rich. Western religion has surrendered to the secular religion of law — serving only the master — as the standard for love, empathy, and mercy in life. Workers’ unions have disappeared for all practical purposes from the private economy — only the master’s servant government employees least in need of unions given their almost lifetime guarantee of income, job security, and pension benefits have effective unions. The wage worker has no job security nor any place to call “home.” It is only a matter of time before every wage worker is essentially a temporary service employee that randomly and arbitrarily can be hired, fired, transferred, and traded by the corporations paying them wages; who has neither the time, resources, nor social or physical and thus not the mental stability to create with other wage slaves social bonds strong enough to be a threat or to create a threat of a revolt against our modern masters.

 

So now what? Nothing one can do. As George Orwell in 1984 so accurately described, this is simply our unavoidable future. For the powers that be, power is an end in itself. Unless you become religious believing in a god other than power, the only option is to sit back and enjoy the material wealth that modern technological society provides even to wage slaves. As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all boats. Though relatively speaking in terms of economic wealth, personal self-worth, and freedom, the modern wage slave is probably no better off and may be worse off than our ancestors, we are much better off in personal material wealth. That may be the only progress that life allows for those of us not among the powers that be. The wage slave with the most toys wins!

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Ode to Cpl. Carlton B. Jones

Mr. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently added a National Book Award to his MacArthur Foundation “genius” award given to him in gratitude for telling rich white folks what they want to hear: unlike all other former slaves and their descendants in the world and throughout history, being black is a “struggle” that “black bodies” cannot survive without their help and noblesse oblige. In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to his deceased friend Prince C. Jones, Jr. with whom he has much in common. They both lived a life of privilege with little struggle in life (except for the beatings that Mr. Coates received from his father that he then dished out to the other kids in the neighborhood and his teachers); received much family, emotional, material, and financial support from their extended family and numerous friends all of whom were college educated; received excellent educational opportunities from their parents and the American education system; and then received a free ride to college. Mr. Coates spent five years of that free ride engaging in sexual conquests and then having a child (but at least stayed and continues to live with the mother) but never graduating. Prince Jones ended seven years of that free ride not by finally graduating but by intentionally ramming his jeep — that his mommy bought for him — into what he knew to be an unmarked police car resulting in his being shot to death by the police officer in the car. Prince Jones left behind a baby mama and a daughter — another fatherless black family. Given that Mr. Jones was twice arrested for beating the mother of his child including once when she was 8 months pregnant, with the addition of the multi-million dollar civil settlement from the offending police department some good may come out of his death after all.

 

What the “journalist” Mr. Coates almost always leaves out of his story about his friend Mr. Prince Jones, that he left out of his book except in a one-line passing side comment, and that he left out and always leaves out except as a cursory side comment in all of his discussions about Mr. Jones, as the Washington Post was at least honest enough to admit, is: “Black Victim, Black Cop, Black County.” The officer that shot Mr. Jones, Cpl. Carlton B. Jones, was a “black body”, the term that Mr. Coates uses in his book to refer to himself, to his son, to Mr. Jones, and to others of his “tribe” or “race”, terms that he uses despite claiming that such terms are the product or source of racism (he cannot make up his mind which). Cpl. Jones worked for and was trained by the “black elite” of Prince George’s County. This is one of the many dishonest exclusions if not outright distortions of Mr. Coates’ polemics that caused me to write the book Between the World and Us and that caused me to continue on into this blog.

 

But, to whom should I dedicate this blog? At first, as an act of irony, I was going to dedicate it to Mr. Coates’ grandmother who “cleaned white folks’ houses” in the same way that my poor, immigrant, uneducated white mother did after coming to this country as a refugee from communist Yugoslavia and a life of peasant farming going back generations. After cleaning their houses while also cleaning tables at restaurants for a few years, my mother was able to get a night job as an office cleaning lady that eventually led to the attainment of the holy grail of working class work: a union job (cleaning offices as part of the SEIU). When I was a younger man that could cry, it would bring tears to my eyes when I thought of how little I saw her during my high school years. By the time I got home from school, she had already gone to work. When I got up in the morning, she was sleeping having not gotten home until 2 or 3AM from work. I still remember a few nights when I was awake in my bed and she would quietly open my door and peak in just to see me. To this day, I do not know why I did not say anything or greet her. It just did not seem to be the right thing to do at the time. God, if I had a time machine, I would change those moments. Her cleaning lady job put food on the table, paid the mortgage, and avoided welfare for us during the years that my father was disabled from his construction laborer job and only able to find part-time work when he found any. She was glad to have the job and was good at her job.

 

The same must be true for Mr. Coates’s grandmother. Her hard work resulted in great success: his whole family including his parents and his siblings, except for Mr. Coates, are college educated and well off and thus have succeeded in the American Dream that he ridicules (his siblings work as engineers, lawyers, and business owners as did his father and mother).

 

As is true of all social elite especially writers going all the way back to Aristotle, Mr. Coates looks down on the menial, physical work done by his grandmother as demeaning. It is good enough for the likes of the poor such as my mother but not for his “gem of purest ray serene” to “waste [her] sweetness on the desert air.” Pride in one’s work and respecting the work of others, including the hard physical work in which the vast majority of humanity has toiled and is toiling, is to be restricted to the creative work of such geniuses as Mr. Coates and is not to be granted working stiffs with no hope in the present but only in the future.

 

However, I rejected such irony because such dedication would not be fair to his grandmother. If his story about her is true, which I doubt given Mr. Coates’ tendency to distort reality, no doubt she appreciates and wants her privacy in the same way my mother does. Though being a cleaning lady supporting your family is honorable work that should be a source of strength, social support, and an individual sense of worth as all work should be, it really is miserable work.

 

No, my dedication should be and is to the forgotten soul in need of much empathy in the Prince Jones half-story told by Mr. Coates: Cpl. Carlton B. Jones. Mr. Coates as with the vast majority of pundits these days gets rich sitting in the stands watching the gladiators fight life’s battles and then criticizes their technique, tactics, and strategy — another one of the privileges of life in the United States granted to Mr. Coates. This is a privilege not given to workingmen and women, white or black. This was not a privilege given to Cpl. Jones.

 

As a workingman, Cpl. Jones joined both the Army Reserve and became a police officer because according to his deposition he was “inspired by the vision of racial harmony invoked by Martin Luther King, Jr.” As many a workingman did throughout United States history, he joined the military and gave the rest of society a blank check for his life to use as it saw fit to defend the Constitution of which Mr. Coates is always invoking its protection — though never willing to risk anything to protect it. Regardless of how naive this inspiration was, I admire the willingness to do it as I did and am grateful personally that he as a “black body” did so regardless of the overall or ultimate ethical nature of the military. Having grown up in a segregated working class neighborhood that defended itself against all it perceived to be a danger to the little its residents had, all strangers or outsiders both white and black ones, the military was my first opportunity to work with and become shipmates with a “black body.” He and all other “black bodies” who joined the military throughout the years and became trusted shipmates and comrades did and do much to reduce racism in this country, vastly more than either pretend intellectual elites such as Mr. Coates or pretend warriors such as the Malcolm X’s and Black Panthers of the world too busy concentrating on their struggles for personal power to be mates or comrades to anyone else. Though I am not a fan of police officers, I do understand and admire his inspiration to become a police officer to put the bad guys away and to fight for truth, justice, and the American way of life.

 

Unfortunately, as young idealists such as Cpl. Jones soon learn, it is not always clear who the bad guys are, and truth, justice, and the American way of life are not what Martin Luther King nor any other politician, white or black, makes them appear to be. As Clarence Darrow once said, “there is no justice in life, in or out of court.” As Mr. Coates’ journalism, books, and awards establish, truth is what those in power say is true — most of the time, in the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is not king but a danger to be eliminated. That aspect of the American way of life consisting of the High Noon image of a solitary peace officer standing up against the bad guys is an idealistic one but also a delusional one. As many a military veteran has learned and as Cpl. Jones learned the night that Prince Jones decided to ram him with his jeep, despite intense training, the facing of death and danger with rational reserve and then spitting in their faces sounds nice and looks cool on television, movies, and in the books by writers such as Mr. Coates who have never faced such a situation and most likely never will, but it is a completely different matter to face in reality. Facing what appears to be an attempt to kill by someone willing to kill is scary, especially the first time. If John Wayne or Russell Crowe faced Prince Jones on the night that Cpl. Jones did, perhaps they would have been able to transfer their screen persona into life and everyone would have survived completely unharmed. Based on my life experience, I doubt it. As many a man or woman in similar circumstances throughout history have done, Cpl. Jones got scared, could not think straight, and began to shoot wildly at his attacker. A mistake with which he must live for the rest of his life.

 

The undisputed fact about life is that if one tries to work, to do things in life, to actually fight the battle and problem that is life, one will make mistakes about which the critics such as Mr. Coates sitting in the stands watching can then critique, ridicule, write about, and be rewarded. However, my hat and dedication is to those in the arena fighting the battle that is life. Cpl. Jones seems to have disappeared from the county police department and I have not been able to locate him anywhere. No doubt, if he still is or ever was the idealist that his court deposition makes him appear to be, he is somewhere still suffering from the guilt of his mistake. He is doing so without the empathy of public sympathy but with the public humiliation of having his mistake constantly marketed and publicized by Mr. Coates so that he can sell books. Wherever he is, I wish him good hope. As a military veteran and thus as a warrior, he should not need and I hope he succeeds in dealing with his guilt without the publicity and public sympathy that Mr. Coates needs and craves. At least, as a fellow workingman, I hope that we are comrades in the never ending struggle with the powers-that-be that we are destined to lose — in this life at least.